The countdown has begun to Derry hosting its first street food festival with less than a fortnight to go before the festival opens.
Final preparations are being made ahead of the trucks, vans and a double decker bus diner bar setting up stall for the outdoor Legenderry Street Food Festival, which will be staged across Guildhall Street from Friday July 19 to Sunday July 21 and admission is free.
Street food festivals have proved extremely popular across the world and Derry’s will showcase homegrown producers cooking up a wide range of dishes from across the world to a soundtrack of live music and DJs.
The festival will showcase and celebrate the best of locally produced street food will be complemented by craft drink produce and live music in a city centre setting.
It has now been confirmed that participating food outlets will include Mekong, Doherty’s Meats, Burrito Bar, Cafe Guild, Legenderry Warehouse, Nonnas, Lo & Slo, 2 North Street Food, Silverbean, La Tia Juana’s, The White Horse Hotel and Walled City Brewery. Vegetarian and Vegan options will be available.
Pop up bars meanwhile will feature craft beers and exclusive cocktails using local spirits from the Walled City Brewery, Muff Gin, Rough Brothers, Northbound Brewery, Dopey Dick, and Baronscourt Brewery Company.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane Michaela Boyle has welcomed the fact that all those participating are from the local area.
She said: “This is going to be a fantastic event for everyone to enjoy with a fantastic range of local food and drink producers stepping up to showcase their quality produce. We will have a variety of street food trucks, vans and trailers all located within the Guildhall Street city centre as well as pop up bars serving local craft beers and exclusive cocktails using local spirits.
“We will have live music performances and DJs with seating areas where you can relax with a drink and some food and soak up the atmosphere. There will also be music provided by local DJs to create a unique and intimate festival experience.”
Catherine Goligher, Food tourism officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained the ethos behind the festival. She said: “The idea to host a Street Food Festival was developed by the Council in partnership with the recently established LegenDerry Food Network.
“The Local Food and Drink Strategy identified Street Food as one of our key growth areas with much potential to develop. We are delighted with the response to the call-out for participants and are really excited about bringing all this local food and drink out onto the streets for people to sample and enjoy.”
Restaurants and bars located within the festival-zone are also signing up to be part of the festival by offering alfresco menus and dining options. The festival area will be incorporated within the Guildhall Street area of the city and will run from 5pm -11pm on Friday and Saturday, 19 and 20 July and from 2pm to 10pm on Sunday 21.
Mayor Boyle said among the highlights of the festival she is looking forward to is the double decker bar and dining experience as well as food offerings that will include wood fired pizza, smoked slow barbecued meats and cotton candy.
“I really love the sound of this festival and think it’s a fantastic idea that will be hugely popular with local and visiting food lovers. Derry and Strabane’s food scene is really expanding and developing and it’s fantastic that we have been able to include all local producers and products at this year’s festival,” she added.
Jennifer O’Donnell Tourism Manager with the Council added that one of the really positive aspects of the festival is the feedback and participation of local food producers. “We are delighted to see how this festival has really helped us forge ahead in developing this aspect of our food offering. For example Emily from Lo&Slo has bought a new trailer while the White Horse Inn area diversifying so they can be part of this growing food trend.”
Further details of the festival including a list of participating food outlets and a schedule of entertainment will be available over the coming weeks. For more info visit www.derrystrabane.com/streetfood